Deciduous shrub grown for its vibrant yellow flowers that announce the arrival of spring; shrubs around town will be blooming for the next few weeks. Bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers emerge before leaves and cover branches from ground to tip. Depending on the variety, they can be compact specimen plants or tall (8-10 feet) informal hedges. Branches grow in an arching vase shape, so give them room to cascade. Regular water and fertilizer will promote most vigorous growth and flower display, but forsythias are very adaptable shrubs, growing in most soils, in full or partial sun, and varying water conditions. Plus, they're deer-resistant. They bloom on last year's growth, so prune shrubs immediately after flowering; cut out older branches and those with irregular growth. Branches also can be cut before flowering and brought indoors, where they will open and flower in a vase.

Plant of the week FORSYTHIA

Common Name: Forsythia

Scientific name: Forsythia spp.

Height: 3-8 feet

Width: 3-8 feet

Blooms: Early spring

Where to plant: Full sun, partial sun

Water requirement: Adaptable to various water conditions

Preparing the soil: Adaptable to various soil types

Hardy: Zone 3 (up to 8,000 feet)